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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Tocopherol


These comments are made for the purpose of discussion and should NOT be used as recommendations for or against therapies or other treatments. An individual patient is always advised to consult their own physician.

Tocopherol/Vitamin E
Question: Washington Palm Beach Post reference to Vitamin E: "high amounts" of alpha-tocopherol may decrease amount of gamma tocopherol in body and decrease effect of antioxidants. Referenced the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and biochemists from the University of California at Berkeley: Bottom Line - what is a "high" amount of alpha-tocopherol or "regular" vitamin E?

Answer: There is not an established toxic level of Vitamin E. This is peculiar since all the other fat soluble vitamins A, D, K can be very toxic in high doses. We know that Vitamin E will decrease vascular disease(studies in progress, but most studies show a benefit). It appears that 150 to 200 units a day is the minimum dose necessary to get improvement. However, we do not know the optimum dose and we also do not know if high doses are more beneficial or less so than lower doses. I usually recommend 400 units or so a day until further research is forthcoming.

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